As every year, during the Kitchen and Bath China trade show, we hold a customary series of dinner events. The KBC International Customer Dinner 2019, stood out from other company events that are held during this busy time in the year.
The history-laden location of the 1862 Shipyard at the banks of the Huangpu River was a perfect venue to receive the over 250 guests from near and far. The since 2005 abandoned area has been completely reimagined by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma who used his expertise in adaptive re-use architecture to remodel the large buildings and surroundings entirely.
His sensibility of the place pays tribute to the verticality and monumentality of it. The remodel of the 157-year old factory while keeping the original texture and materiality in mind, is short of a masterpiece.
The KBC International Customer Dinner 2019 guests appreciated the significance of the history of the building even more while listening to David Kohler, president and CEO of Kohler Company, when he briefly looked back on the company’s 146-year old existence and paving the way for the future in his opening remarks.
Larry Yuen, president Kohler Kitchen & Bath Group, joined him in welcoming guests to this iconic location in Shanghai.
The rugged brick walls, exposed air-con ducts made from old steam pipes and old rusty iron plates used as door signs conjure up a strong industrial sense of space in anyone walking through the high-ceilinged rooms. This ‘maker’ atmosphere appealed perfectly to distributors, developers, and designers who enjoyed a delicious dinner and delightful evening at the 1862 Shipyard.
The flair of industry and movement also appealed to Kohler’s perspective of the year ‘Experiential Luxury’. While the shipyard was once unused, it is now a gathering place to enjoy the finer things in life such as entertainment at the Theater or browsing the Museum of Modern Art (New York) shop that is the only one in China.
Luxury comes in many layers, nuances, and details from the carefully chosen materials to the healthiest ingredients in the thoughtfully prepared appetizers. It is also an appreciation of the craftsmanship for large structures such as the dinner venue and for the personalized touch of the event organization.
Guests and hosts fully embraced the celebration of the Kitchen and Bath China trade show, a successful year, and the chance to mingle with friends and acquaintances in a unique and special setting.